Well, we know what the Pope is giving up for Lent. It's eerie, because just the other day I watched a movie on cable called "We Have a Pope." It's about a cardinal who is elected pope and refuses it and runs away. It's a bit freaky that a day or two later, Pope Benedict announced his decision. Maybe he saw the movie too. Metaphysical or coincidence? Whatever the case, it makes me glad I didn't watch "Armageddon."
The good thing about being Mormon is I can enjoy the pancakes without having to observe Lent. But if I were to observe it, what would I give up? (I can picture myself phoning my boss and saying "I won't be in for forty days. I've given up work for Lent.") Would I give up something superficial like chocolate, which I know isn't good for me anyway, or would I put serious thought into it and give up something important and valued? Would I be willing to sacrifice reading, or music, or gardening?
I think Pope Benedict has been brave and humble and has put his concern for the Church ahead of his own pride. Would I, like he, be able to admit when the reality isn't able to match the expectation? When something defeats me? It's a difficult thing. We are taught all our lives to strive and reach and not give up. But sometimes, I think, recognizing our limitations requires more strength and wisdom than sticking to an impossible path.